Alibaba to Build Rival Mobile OS — Chinese company Alibaba Group is apparently looking to develop a mobile OS to compete against that of Android and Windows Phone OS, says The Wall Street Journal. Alibaba Group traditionally provides eCommerce, retail, payments platform, and cloud services. The suspected released frame for this OS is reportedly scheduled for the third quarter of this year.
Virtual Currency Bitcoin Comes to Android — Those that make use of the virtual currency Bitcoin will be happy to learn that their Android device can now be used as a bitcoin wallet through Bitcoin Android. Through the new app, bitcoins can be sent and received through one’s phone and the wallet is synced through one’s Google account and backed up on a cloud server.
Pokémon Franchise Coming to Smartphones in Japan — Nintendo affiliate, The Pokémon Company, is bringing an official Pokémon application to the App Store and Android Market this summer, says Kotaku Japan. The game is dubbed Pokémon Say Tap?, and is a simple music, rhythm-game. However, the app appears to only be coming to Japan for the time being. This would mark the first time, that Nintendo became involved in the smartphone market in any way.
Apple Files Injunction Against Samsung — More legal issues between Apple and Samsung appear this week. Apple filed an injunction against Samsung on Friday in order to try and prevent four of its mobile devices — Galaxy S 4G, Infuse 4G, Droid Charge, and Galaxy Tab 10.1 — out of the U.S., says FOSS Patents. Each device applies to a different, alleged, patent violation.
Verizon to Stop Unlimited Data Plans — Come July 7th, Verizon Wireless will hault its unlimited data plans for smartphones, says FierceWireless. New customers will pay for monthly data packages ranging in price from $10 (75MB) to $80 (10GB) with thethering cosing an extra $20.
AT&T Offers Insurance Plans — Starting July 17th, AT&T will offer a new iPhone insurance policy to users for their handsets for $4.99 a month through Asurion. Deductibles for lost, stolen, or damaged iPhones will range from $50 to $125 depending on the model.
Foursquare Goes “Beyond the Check-In” With Android App — Fourquare has added a new Notification tray feature to the Android version of its application referred to as going “beyond the check-in.” The new feature adds Notifications dealing with more than check-ins, including comments on check-ins or photos, alerts (such as no longer being mayor), or when friends sign up.What’s even more interesting is that this has been added to the Android version before the iPhone when, traditionally, Foursquare has added updates the other way around.
Apple Acquires “280” Trademark — According to Trademarkia records, and stumbled upon by TechCrunch, Apple has obtained a trademark in the U.S. for “280.” This refers to the icon for its Maps application on iOS.
HTC Buys S3 Graphics From VIA Technologies — Taiwanese company, VIA Technologies has sold all of its shares for S3 Graphics to smartphone developer HTC today. According to the announcement, the shares were purchased for $300 million. VIA will receive $147 million and VIA-introduced investor, WTI Investment International (who was added back in 2005 to help fund S3 Graphics), will receive $153 million.
SHAPE Services Acquires CrispApp — According to TechCrunch, IM+ messaging app developer, SHAPE Services, has acquired Hong Kong-based fone developer CrispApp. Though the purchase amount was not disclosed, TechCrunch notes that it was approximately $200,000.
LightSquared Raises $265 Million — According to VentureBeat, wholesale-only integrated 4G-LTE wireless broadband and satellite network LightSquared has raised $265 million in capital from both new and existing investors. To date, the U.S. company has raised over $2.3 billion.
Brrapp Games Partners with TapJoy — Mobile and social games developer Brrapp Games has announced a new Android publishing partnership with TapJoy. Through its Android Developer Fund, TapJoy will help Brrapp in the development of its upcoming title SqueezeShapes.
RIM Loses 1 Million Users, Android Grows — Analytics company comScore released a new set of data regarding the smarphone market, showing substantial growth for Android (gaining 6.46 million users) and slight growth from Apple (gaining 3.02 million users). RIM, on the other hand, is noted to have lost over 1 million users. The metrics were taken over the three month average period ending May 2011.